Romney's media handicap

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Max E., May 16, 2012.

  1. Max E.

    Max E.

    Great article about the bullshit coming from the media, who are desperately doing what ever they can to help Obama get re-elected.

    By Jonah Goldberg

    May 15, 2012

    The time is coming for Mitt Romney to get angry, very angry, with what is increasingly, quaintly called 'the mainstream media.'

    Perhaps Mitt Romney played it right when he was meek and contrite in response to the Washington Post's front-page allegations that he bullied a kid half a century ago in high school.

    Romney no doubt feels embarrassed by the charges, even if most of us struggle to understand their relevance or gauge their veracity. But the time is coming for Romney to get angry, very angry, with what is increasingly, quaintly called "the mainstream media."

    The Post's decision to play up the story as if it were major news — front page, thousands of drably dull self-serious words piled high as if to justify the one buzzy nugget — is an embarrassment. It was clearly intended to link Romney to the new progressive cause: fighting anti-gay bullying, in the context of President Obama's "sudden" support for gay marriage. It was naked advocacy gussied up as journalistic due diligence.

    It was also a significant error — if you work from the assumption (as I do) that the Post and other mainstream media outlets are determined to do what they can to reelect Obama — because they tipped their hand too early.

    It's always dangerous to ascribe singular purpose to a collective entity like "the media." Of course, there are individual figures who — despite whatever personal biases they may have — are trying their best to be fair. But as a generalization, the mainstream media are so deep in the bunker for Obama, they could ride out a nuclear war without having their Jenga tower fall over.

    In 2004, John Kerry's war record embellishments and involvement with a radical group that at one time discussed a plot to assassinate U.S. senators who supported the Vietnam War were treated as fixations of the deranged right. Evan Thomas, then of Newsweek, proclaimed what pretty much everyone knew: The press "wants Kerry to win." And that was John Kerry, a man few in Washington like and many consider to be a pompous human toothache.

    Obama, meanwhile, is beloved. In 2008, concerns about the man's past were largely brushed aside, ignored or re-spun to fit the acceptable story line.

    No doubt some believe that if a Republican candidate had a hate-spewing pastor and associated with an admitted former domestic terrorist, the mainstream media would be equally dismissive. After all, who cares about that. I mean, how can that stack up news value-wise against a 17-year-old hazing a kid at school nearly 50 years ago?

    In 2008, the imperative was to clear the field for the first black president. Now that that box has been checked, a new story line is needed. Enter Newsweek. It features Obama with a rainbow-colored halo (because conventional halos are so Republican!), touting him as the "First Gay President."

    Tina Brown, editor of Newsweek and the Daily Beast, may be a genius. No doubt it has gotten boring saying Obama's opponents are racist. Now the press can treat his critics as homophobes, even the ones holding the same position on gay marriage that Obama (publicly) held for the last decade — until last week.

    The Obama campaign's rationalization for the president's decision to drop what most knew was a calculated political lie is that it would "fire up" his base among rich liberal donors and college students. It did that.

    But it also fired up his base in the press corps, enabling writers to rekindle their obsession with the "historic" nature of the Obama presidency.

    As the London Telegraph blogger Tim Stanley writes, everything the president does is cast as part of history. The president could go "seal-clubbing and much of the media would see it as a new epoch for winter sports. 'Barack Obama Becomes the First President to Kill Six Seals in Under One Minute,' the New York Times would proudly report."

    It's worth noting that there's little evidence — yet — that Obama's decision will actually help him with voters, voters who are increasingly less deferential to campaigns from traditional media outlets.

    Still, it never hurts to have good press. In football, they sometimes refer to the cheerleading and noise from the fans as the "12th man" on the (normally 11-man) team. The media are revving themselves up to be Obama's 12th man, and the time is coming for Romney to call them on it, with passion.
  2. The media tries to keep it light hearted.
  3. Brass


    Embarrassment indeed. I'd be embarrassed posting such a passage in support of any argument I may have.

    Perhaps the author should consider that some candidates have more skeletons in their closet than others when considering the apparent disparity in "coverage." But then, false equivalency is a mainstay of the Right Wing.

    As for Romney's biggest handicap in general, that would be an informed and intelligent voter.
  4. JamesL


    Halo's are conventionally WHITE.
  5. Will you post Obama's school transcripts to clear up this disparity in coverage thingy for us?
  6. Lucrum


    Fortunately for you this is rarely an issue, given you rarely have an argument to begin with.
  7. Brass


    Have you asked to see Romney's school transcripts? And if not, why not?
  8. Reality always smacks you bitches in the face.
  9. Brass


    I'm guessing that means no, you never inquired about Romney's school transcripts in your ongoing quest for fairness.
  10. I'm more curious what Romney did when he was 5 years old. There must be some gay toddler he picked on.
    #10     May 16, 2012